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50602 Concerns about lamp posts in the Western area

May 2012 in Train Operations

tagged Equipment Station and platform Work environment Central

A reporter has raised two concerns about lamp posts, manufactured by Abacus, across the Western area of the network. This predominately concerns stations managed by First Great Western but also Arriva Trains Wales and London Midland.

Colour codings obscured.The first concern is about colour coded bands on lamp posts being painted over. The reporter comments that these bands are attached to lamp posts, to indicate their weight and height and to advise Maintenance Staff what type of jack needs to be used in order to lower the lamp post to carry out work. These bands are frequently being painted over by Train Operating Companies (TOCs). This situation could lead to staff being injured if they use the incorrect jack to lower a lamp post.

Signs attached to lamp posts.The second concern is about station signs being attached to lamp posts. The reporter comments that the lamp posts are aerodynamically designed in order to prevent them being blown over by the wind but that attaching signs to them defeats this design objective. It is believed that the manufacturers guidelines specifically advise against this. It is felt the additional weight could lead to the lamp post breaking, potentially falling on someone or on to the track.

The reporter suggests the TOCs:

  • replace the colour coded bands on the lamp posts; and
  • consider removing signs from lamp posts, especially where there are multiples.

 Response from First Great Western

First Great Western (FGW) would like to thank the reporter for bringing this issue to our attention. In response to the specific points raised.

Colour coded bands on lamp posts:FGW property maintenance teams, including our in-house station painting teams, are aware of the purpose of colour coded banding on lamp posts. Where lamp posts have been repainted it has been our policy to maintain the colour coded band. Following the receipt of this report, FGW property department will issue a safety notice to all Station Managers requesting that they report any instances where lamp post colour bands may have been erroneously over painted. Our maintenance teams will then rectify the issue.

Signs on lamp posts:At many locations stop boards and running in boards have been historically displayed on lamp posts.  However, in recent years additional signage, which could be considered as non essential, has been erected. Following the receipt of this report, a safety notice has been issued to all Station Managers advising them to remove excessive signage, and instructing them to ensure that no new signage is to be fixed to lamp posts.   

 Awaiting responses from Arriva Trains Wales and London Midland